Wednesday, September 16, 2015

More from the AY CDC board meeting: new board member; some concerns responded to, others pending

I should mention some other items from the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation meeting 7/28/15, beyond the issue of changes to the Open Space Design Guidelines.

New board member

A final board member was added to the list, a gubernatorial appointment: Jennifer James, director of governmental and external affairs for CUNY Medgar Evers College. She said publicly that she had "lived in the neighborhood" (no location was given) and was "very familiar with the project."

James is a former district director for Rep. Ed Towns and a  one-time candidate for the 40th District City Council seat now occupied by Mathieu Eugene.

Community relations

AY CDC President Marion Phillips III provided a community relations update, citing a June 10 project site tour with developer Greenland Forest City Partners, the city Department of Transportation, and the New York Police Department, "to go over concerns community has been raised... It was very productive meeting."

He cited the June 24 community update meeting, with a presentation by DOT and a presentation on open space. (There were several people frustrated with DOT, it went unmentioned.)

And there was a July 17 "project site tour at the request of the community." (That 11 am walk was announced with three days notice. I couldn't make it.)

"We've noticed there is a core set of concerns," said Phillips, citing ongoing efforts to improve traffic enforcement at Atlantic and Sixth avenues, concerns about traffic congestion, the need for tree guards on Dean Street and Carlton Avenue, and truck queueing in the project site. Some residents would like congested Pacific Street between Sixth and Carlton avenues be made one-way

Of 99 complaints in 2015 through July 17, only three "are logged with an open status," with an average incident resolution time of 7.7 days. Whether resolved means "resolved to the complainant's satisfaction" remained unclear.

In response to a question by board member Jaime Stein, Phillips said the directors will receive the report electronically.

Monsignor Kieran Harrington suggested that efforts to ameliorate traffic should extend to Washington Avenue, which is "certainly an area of congestion."

"Documenting concerns is one thing," observed board member Linda Reardon. "What's the exact process to getting resolution with DOT on traffic concerns?"

Phillips gave a vague answer, noting the potential challenges involving city and state agencies. "On the easy issues, we work well," he said. "On the harder issues... it's city and state."

Pending questions

Wayne Bailey, president of the 78th Precinct Community Council and a member of Community Board 8, again protested traffic being diverted onto Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street. "It's hard on residents, it's hard on construction," he said. "I don't understand why we can't get this solved."

Phillips said ESD has spoken with the city Department of Transportation several times, so it's an ongoing issue.

Carlton Avenue resident Elisabeth Martin reiterated that trucks on Carlton between Dean and Pacific streets regularly scrape the trees. She recommended a cop be stationed to fine the trucks. "I have been speaking about this for the last year.. and nobody's listening," she said, noting that DOT may put up a ""No Trucks" sign.

Dean Street resident Peter Krashes noted that the Dean Street Block Association before the AY CDC meeting in May sent a letter "asking for data and documentation of our past engagement with ESD to be given to board members." He observed that "looking at issues in a segmented way" means that issues would be missed.

Martin raised another issue brought up by a neighbor. "We have had structural damage to our buildings... we do not know who is responsible... I need you to tell me to tell my neighbors where we can go."

Those issues were left unresolved.

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